|This early roaster ad touts portability.|
If you used an electric roaster in preparing your Thanksgiving turkey yesterday, you weren't alone. Roasters have been widely used since the 1940s because they could cook a complete meal with minimal attention. The roaster could cook meat, vegetables and dessert all at the same time.
The first roasters were produced in the 1930s by Milwaukee's National Enameling and Stamping Company (Nesco®). The new "portable oven" was part of the first joint marketing effort between an appliance manufacturer and one of our predecessor companies. Nesco and utility representatives went to farms throughout Wisconsin selling the Nesco roaster ovens and light bulbs as utilities expanded electric service to rural families that were cooking on wood stoves.